Today’s article is about cards from online players asking how to deal with “dead cards” as well as “dead situations”. Dead, and I also understand the situation is dead, but of the two, I have a bit of a problem with the idea of dying.
Very few are actually dead situations, as you will see in the next few paragraphs .
First, the idea of being on a dead card is dead. In other words, you don’t have to play decent cards, you can also find situations where you can step in and steal the blinds or take the pot regardless of what your cards are.
There are times when it does, but it is few and far between and usually doesn’t last long. In all honesty, you’re probably just looking for the right place to get a hand, take the easy pre-flop pot or on the flop, and get out.
The only time you can really, really, be in a dead-end situation is a multi-table tournament, you’re short stacked (but not desperate) and you’re surrounded by big stacked aggressive players. In this case, you will find it very difficult to get a hand and “buy” the pot, or intimidate your way through it, when you can get any hand. If you try something fancy, a big stack will only increase all their holdings. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it really sucks, because there’s not much you can do to drive it.
However, there are usually situations where you can force your hand on the table, if for no other reason than you’ve been playing poor cards and not playing many hands. I’m not talking about when you’re on the button. It’s a clear game and many times the result is a raise back and you’ll be in trouble. More subtle drama about which I speak. For example, you hold 15-20 hands. You’re in a T-2 suit with little curtains and everyone folded. You finish and call BB. Flop Present 9-5-2. Please try here. Chances are he didn’t hit either. Plus, you are out of position and no one expects you to play a short stack out of position.
If you play against the brain at all, they will look at the hand or you can do nothing with the betting position. If they had the case and they didn’t, they wouldn’t. You won’t find many players raising the ball enough, this is the scenario in any hand. This is another example. Say you get a big stack with a bunch of aggressive players. You are not desperate, but you are short stacked and just trying to hold on until you have the money to do it, but for about 8 hands for about 8-2. The curtains start to overwhelm you and no one gives you any respect.
Choose an opponent to push. Wait until you have no aggressive players in front of you. Target players who are in the big blind who don’t have a lot of chips and are just trying to hold on, just like you and you. Make big pre-flop raises regardless of your cards. Risky? Of course. But it’s no more risky than sitting around until your chip stack is irrelevant. You’ll have to make some points as you move, it might as well be the opponent of your choice.
Here is another way to try. Hobbling and then slamming big bets when the flop comes. This is a great way to get aggressive players off balance. Aggressive players like to take orphan sandals. If you beat them, there’s really not much they can do. They have something to hit you with and give up. Making a strong post play flop can be many times more effective than a big raise pre-flop. Their posts honor that.
However, you can start with the idea that “the situation is dead” is usually wrong. There are situations where you can play if you don’t want to be impatient and picky. Of course, you can still be wrong. That’s the beauty of poker. Even if you have the best idea in the world, everything is planned, you can still be beaten by luck, twists or rivers. What you can do is try.
Chris Wilcox is the author of The 224 Page No BS Guide to Winning Online No Limit Texas Hold’em Available from the poker ebook.